The Philadelphia Phillies won both ends of a doubleheader on Wednesday to improve to 43-26. They are beginning to cushion their lead in the National East as they now sit five games ahead of the Atlanta Braves who are their closest competitors.
While teams like the Cleveland Indians and Florida Marlins played over their heads in the early-going, the Phillies have been the model of consistency. They have battled through a myriad of injuries and an anemic offense and finally seem to be "hitting" their stride.
The Phillies have shown us in the past that they are a second-half team. Usually their bat's start to heat up during the summer swells.
Ruben Amaro has openly stated that the Phillies will not make any moves at the trade deadline. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reported that the Phillies are right at the luxury tax threshold and that is something that the ownership will not allow their bankrolls to surpass.
Let's take Amaro's words with a grain of salt. It seems like he has been watching too many Andy Reid press conferences and he has become very good at hiding his intentions.
Ruben Amaro has shown that he is not afraid of acquiring the big fish at the deadline. Who could the Phillies add that would fit into their budget and make a difference?
Here are the Philadelphia Phillies top 10 trade moves to bring home another World Series.
It seems like the Cleveland Indians are ready to let top-prospect Cord Phelps take over as their everyday second basemen. Orlando Cabrera has been a veteran of the league for 15 seasons and could provide Charlie Manuel with a better right-handed bat off the bench than he currently has at his disposal.
Cabrera would also give the Phillies more depth up the middle, which is never a bad thing with Chase Utley's knee.
Cabrera would come relatively cheap as he is only under contract for this year at one million.
The 6'2" 210 lb right-hander Jeff Baker has been a career bench player who is having a lot of success right now with the Chicago Cubs. He will be a free agent after this season and is only making $1.18 million.
He is hitting .347 this season, so that will certainly raise his asking price, but a prospect like Matt Rizzotti or Jiwan James could land Baker in Philadelphia.
Why is Baker such a good idea? He has 44 at-bats this season against lefties...
And he has 22 hits, enough said.
The 35 year old Adam Kennedy could be another cheap addition to the roster at $750,000 for one year. He would provide depth at third, second and first base and could provide some pop off the bench.
He is having a solid season with the Seattle Mariners (.275 BA, six HR's.) and would not require any top-flight talent in return.
If only he were about 70 lbs. heavier (and Canadian) than a Matt Stairs reference could be warranted.
Jeff Keppinger may not be the Houston Astros player that Philly Nation desires, but he could be a valuable addition to this roster. His contract is a reasonable one-year, $2.3 million and he is hitting .294 in 2011.
Over the past three seasons, Keppinger has hit .327 against left-hand pitching. He would be a nice option for Charlie Manuel in the later innings.
Heck, anyone that can hit a lefty is welcome.
"Andre Ethier, are you kidding me?" Here me out on this one and I will try to make some sense of this deal.
Ethier makes $9.25 million and would require a major price-tag in return. Ethier will receive a raise in arbitration next year before he becomes a free agent in 2013.
Colvin, Cosart, Singleton and Worley would all have to go to make this deal happen, but the Phillies would have two players in Ethier and Domonick Brown who could be All-star's for the next decade.
It wouldn't beat the Cliff Lee deal, but it would be close.
Just trying to spell Jeff Francouer may be reason enough for the Phillies to shy away from him.
One of my least favorite players in Jeff Francouer might actually be a nice acquisition at the trade deadline. He is only making $2.5 million this season and will likely become a free agent at season's end.
Why would he be an attractive player to the Phillies? The Phillies need a player that can hit left-handed pitching and provide some power off the bench.
Francouer's a career .302/.346/.494 hitter vs. left-handed pitching.
Do you think he would mind hitting at the "bandbox" that is Citizen's Bank Park?
Nate Schierholtz is clearly on the trading block with a packed San Francisco Giants outfield already set. He would be an extremely cheap addition to the team and he has shown that he can hit lefties.
Schierholtz is hitting .333 against lefties since 2008.
Freddy Sanchez is on the DL with a shoulder injury for at least six weeks, so maybe Ruben Amaro can package Joe Blanton into this deal.
The Phillies would be acquiring a guy that can hit lefties while also dumping one of their worst contracts.
Ed Wade isn't the GM of the Giants, is he?
Austin Kearns might be an interesting option for Ruben Amaro and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was picked up last season at the deadline by the New York Yankees and he may be available again.
He signed a one-year, $1.3 million deal with the Cleveland Indians in the offseason, but he could be had if the Phillies dangle a mid-level prospect.
Over the past few seasons, Kearns has seen playing time when his left-handed hitting outfield mates get a night off against a left-handed starter.
Kearns would provide power off the bench at a relatively cheap price.
It seems like the Philadelphia Phillies and Josh Willingham have been paired together in trade rumors for the past five seasons. This may finally be the year that the match is made.
Willingham makes more than a lot of other players on this list, but his one-year deal at six million dollars makes him a plausible option.
The Oakland Athletics outfielder is only hitting .231 with this season, but his power numbers are very solid (10 HR's, 41 RBI's.)
Willingham can not play a lick of defense, but he would be a nice right-handed power bat off the bench.
Ed Wade is the GM of the Houston Astros right? The same guy who threw in an extra $12 million to the Philadelphia Phillies to take Roy Oswalt off of his hands?
Hunter Pence would require at least three top prospects, as he has established himself as the face of the Houston Astros.
But don't be shocked if Ed Wade is listening to offers. The Astros are going nowhere fast (like the Phillies during his tenure) and he realizes the importance of grooming minor-league talent (Utley, Howard, Hamels).
Pence could bring in the type of cornerstone players that the Astros can build their team around, while the Phillies will have their corner-outfield positions in good hands for the next decade.
The Phillies would have to break the bank to make this deal happen, but Hunter Pence is exactly the type of player that Philadelphia would love.
He plays the game as hard as he can all the time, and that is all that the fans of Philadelphia ask.
Oh, and another World Series parade in 2011.